Tigers celebrate three-peat

Woorndoo Mortlake’s A grade side won its third consecutive premiership, defeating Tatyoon by seven goals in last
Saturday’s Mininera and District Netball Association decider. Photo courtesy Tracey Kruger

WOORNDOO Mortlake is celebrating a hat-trick of premierships after downing Tatyoon in the Mininera and District A grade netball grand final last Saturday.

The Tigers were too strong for the Hawks after quarter time, going on to win their third premiership with a 41-34 triumph.

Victorious coach Georgia Muir said her side was still coming to terms with what they had achieved.

“Obviously it’s a pretty surreal feeling at the moment and it will take a bit of time to sink in,” she said.

“We’re all excited and for a small country club such as Woorndoo Mortlake it’s a great achievement.”

The Tigers and Hawks traded goals in the opening term, with Tatyoon taking a 9-8 lead into the first break.

Despite trailing, Muir was pleased with how her side started, which had been a focus point for the Tigers following the second semi-final two weeks ago.

Woorndoo Mortlake made some changes, but had also prepared some additional set plays for the encounter, which caught the Hawks off guard.

“In the second quarter, the terrible weather did settle a bit,” Muir said.

“But we also made a couple of changes.

“Renae Reynolds went into the centre, Emma Smith went to wing attack and Sarah Muir went to wing defence

“That gave us different options and that caught their defenders off guard and they didn’t know how to respond.”

A 10-7 quarter lifted the Tigers to a two goal lead at the main break, before the Tigers moved further clear in the third term.

Muir said her side started well after half-time forcing Tatyoon into early turnovers, which resulted in goals to the Tigers.

She said Jess Cameron and Sarah Cameron both stepped up in the goal circle and netted some long range goals, which added to Woorndoo Mortlake’s momentum.

With a six goal lead entering the final term, Woorndoo Mortlake continued to press on and added to their margin, going on to secure a seven goal win.

“We got out by near 10 goals and then they got a couple of late goals,” Muir said.

“But we had obviously built up a lead, which was great.”

Muir praised her players for “a great team effort” but paid extra credit to Reynolds and Smith for their ability to adapt in the decider.

“Renae and Emma worked fantastically with that switch,” she said.

“It wasn’t a combination we had used much this year.”

The Tigers’ coach was also celebrating an additional accolade, with Muir named best on court for the second year in a row.

However, she was quick to point out the help she received from a team-mate in performing on the big stage.

“I’m extremely lucky to play with such a fantastic team,” Muir said.

“Kate Jubb put a lot of work in strategically over the last fortnight and helped me get a lot of intercepts, so she really deserves a lot of credit too.”

Muir said the entire club embraced the grand final occasion and said the support from their cheer squad was well received by the players.

The side returned to the club on Saturday night to commemorate their victory with supporters.

“It was exciting to see so many people at Woorndoo,” Muir said.


C grade netballers fall short in flag decider

WOORNDOO Mortlake’s C grade netball side missed out on joining the club’s A grade team in celebrating a premiership last weekend.

The Tigers faced Tatyoon in the decider with the match played in “atrocious conditions” but it was the Hawks who proved too strong on the day, winning 21-15.

Tigers coach Chris Morgan was disappointed her side was defeated; she said the experience will hold the players in good stead for future grand finals.

“While the group was disappointed, at the end of the day, it’s only a game and they will be more prepared next year,” she said.

“They are a young group so they will benefit from the experience.”

Morgan said she felt her side controlled proceedings, but a “lapse” in the third term was where the match unfolded for all the wrong reasons.

The Tigers trailed by a goal at quarter time and then two goals at half-time, before the Hawks built upon their lead in the third term.

They outscored Woorndoo Mortlake 8-2 for the quarter to hold an eight goal lead at the last change.

The Tigers shot five goals to Tatyoon’s three in the final term but were unable to bridge the deficit further, going down by six goals.

“I felt that we were the better side for three quarters of the match,” Morgan said.

“But a lapse in the third quarter was too much for the girls to make up and that’s all it takes in close matches.

“Our girls got a little anxious and didn’t feed well into our shooters, taking risks that weren’t on.”

Morgan elaborated that the Hawks used the ball better in the difficult conditions during the third term.

She said there may not have been anything other than luck that was the difference in the end result.

“Tatyoon handled the wind better in that third quarter and scoring at a really healthy 80 per cent,” she said.

“But they were also able to get the ball down to their shooters giving them more opportunities to score.

“I can’t really pinpoint a reason for that, sometimes its just a matter of luck with the one percenters not falling your way.”

Erin McGuigan and Brodie Humphrey were named the Tigers’ best in the defeat, but while the loss brought pain, Morgan said the season as a whole had been great.

“Overall, I think they had a great season and (finishing) second is nothing to be ashamed of,” she said.

“(We had) lots of fun and laughs and hopefully they learnt a thing or two along the way.”

Morgan said grand final day got better for Woorndoo Mortlake later in the day, when the A grade netballers won their third flag in a row against Tatyoon.

“The club’s spirits were bolstered later in the day with the A grade taking out their third flag in as many years,” she said.

“The C grade girls certainly joined in the celebrations back at the clubrooms and on into the next day.”

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